How Long to Keep Horses Off Pasture After Mowing? (Prevention Tips)

Pasture management is an important part of horse care. It involves mowing, fertilizing, and liming the pasture to maintain good grass growth.

Grazing the grass is important and beneficial for the health of horses as well as the health of the pasture. Moreover, horses also prefer immature grass over matured grass means they love grazing shorter grass over taller.

But an important question arises; How long should you keep your horses off pasture after mowing?

It depends on the type of grass and how well it is growing.

Generally, you should wait until the grass is at least four inches tall before turning your horses out to graze. This will give the grass time to recover from being mowed and help prevent overgrazing.

However, if you mow the pasture and leaves in the row then you can turn out your horses but make sure the grass is dry. If the grass is wet, wait until it dries before turning out your horses.

To learn, When should I let my horse graze? Read on. This article explains different factors that affect the decision of how long to keep horses off pasture after mowing and why your horse should not graze on fresh-cut grass.

Can you turn the horses out on fresh-cut grass?

No, you should not turn out your horses on fresh-cut grass. The grass needs time to grow from being mowed. You can turn the horse when it’s around 4 inches high.

If you have ever been around horses, you know that they love fresh, green grass! And who can blame them? It’s delicious!

However, there are a few other things to consider before turning your horses out on newly mowed pasture.

The first thing to consider is the height of the grass. If the grass is too short, it can cause stomach issues for your horse.

The best way to judge the height of the grass is by putting a scale or you can use a water botel as well.

If the average measurements are below 4 inches, the grass is too short, wait a bit longer before turning your horses out.

The second thing to consider is the time of day. If it is mid-day and the sun is beating down, the grass will be dry and less nutritious for your horse.

It is best to turn them out in the early morning or evening when the grass is cooler and moister.

The third thing to consider is how much your horse is eating. If they are already on a good diet and getting plenty of hay, they may not need the extra nutrition from the pasture.

However, if they are pregnant, nursing, or working hard, they will need the extra nutrition and can be turned into the pasture.

So, the answer to the question is, that it depends. But, if you keep these things in mind, you will be able to make the best decision for your horse.

Why you should not turn the horses out on fresh-cut grass?

It is generally recommended that you wait to turn your horses out onto pasture until the grass has had a chance to grow back some.

This is to prevent your horse from several health issues including colic, choke, Laminitis, or founder. When grass is mowed, it releases a gas that can be harmful to horses if they inhale too much of it.

The gas is similar to what is released when you cut your lawn. It’s a good idea to wait until the grass has had a chance to grow back some before you turn your horses out onto it.

If you have to turn your horses out on fresh-cut grass, make sure they have spread in rows and give some time to let them dry.

Fresh cut grass also attracts mold and bacteria. These can cause respiratory problems in horses.

So it’s best to wait a few days after mowing before turning your horses out onto the pasture. This will give the grass time to grow back and the mold and bacteria time to die off.

Can horses eat dry grass clippings?

This is a common question that horse owners have, especially those who are looking for ways to save money on hay.

Yes as long as they are dry and lay in small chunks means well spread, your horse can eat safely. It’s not recommended to leave horses on fresh-cut grass or even dry and left in a pile. It can lead them to different issues such as choking, colic, and Laminitis.


Is it ok for horses to eat wet grass?

It is not recommended for horses to eat wet grass, as this can cause colic. If you must mow wet pasture, wait until it dries before allowing your horses back on it.

Can horses graze on a topped field?

Horses can graze on a topped field, but it is not recommended as the sharp edges of the cut grass can cause mouth injuries.

If you do allow your horses to graze on a topped field, make sure to closely monitor them for any signs of discomfort.


We hope this article has helped you understand a little bit more about when and why you should or shouldn’t turn your horses out on pasture after mowing.

Remember, the best thing to do is use your best judgment and consider all of the factors before making a decision. And, if you have any doubts, always err on the side of caution and consult with your veterinarian.

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